Compare the character of Ariel and Caliban

Compare and contrast the character of Ariel and Caliban

Compare and contrast the character of Ariel and Caliban  : Compare and Contrast Ariel and Caliban in The Tempest as many ways as you can. Or, Attempt a comparison and contrast between Caliban and Ariel as you find in The Tempest.

Compare and contrast the characters of Ariel and Caliban.

Ariel and Caliban, two characters in Shakespeare‘s play, The Tempest have points of contrast and comparison in their physical features as well as mental make up. Both Ariel and Caliban are elemental beings but Ariel belongs to an Elemental Being of the higher order, identified with the upward tending elements of Air and Fire, and with the higher nature of man, while Caliban has been made of an Elemental Being of the lower order, identified with the downward-tending elements of Earth and Water, and the lower nature of man.

In their external appearances Ariel and Caliban are poles apart Ariel, made of air and fire, is a sylph, refined and ethereal. He is the chief of the spirits of air but he is able to exercise his functions in the air, on the land or sea. He can assume any sex and fly with the speed of thought. Caliban, on the other hand, a misshapen monster, man, half-fish, is the son of Sycorax, a witch, begotten by a demon• He is a monster of cruelty, malice, pride, ignorance idleness, gluttony and lust. He is a born devil who curses Prospero and attempts to violate the chastity of Miranda.

Ariel and Caliban differ from each other in their relation to   Prospero, their master. Ariel loves Prospero and faithfully carries out his orders, though sometimes he shows moodiness. Caliban, on the   other hand, has a profound hatred for Prospero, whom he regards as a usurper and forms a conspiracy with the drunken butler against his life. An ungrateful being, Caliban learns language from Prospero only to curse him. As a result, he is punished in various ways.

In their mental make up also Ariel and Caliban are widely different. Ariel’s love of freedom is not at variance with his spirit of service. He provides an additional confirmation of the central idea of the play that true freedom lies in service. And when Ariel is ultimately set free, he resumes his life of an unfettered spirit. Caliban’s love of freedom, on the other hand, is shallow. It expresses itself in his resentment of Prospero who is a usurper in his eyes. But it does not mean freedom from service; and domination. It means to him only a change from one master to another. Caliban is brutal and sensuous while Ariel is purely intelligent.

Both Ariel and Caliban are without any moral sense or conscience. Ariel is above humanity, while Caliban is below it. The contrast between the two is the contrast between super human and the sub human. Finally Ariel stands for the good and nobility in man, while Caliban stands for all that is wicked and foul.

Read it also: The Caretaker as the absurd theater

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